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Oct 09, 2018

Tigers in the NFL: Week 5

By: Cole Little

Currently in his sixth year in the NFL, Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has continued to establish himself as one of the league’s most dynamic offensive weapons thus far this fall. Putting together one of the most spectacular performances of his professional career in Week 5, Hopkins combined with Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson to lead Houston to its second straight overtime victory.

Showing out under the bright lights of NRG Stadium in the Texans’ showdown with the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, Hopkins led the league in Week 5 with 151 hard-fought receiving yards in the 19-16 Houston triumph. Fighting through physical coverage and making defenders miss on several of his nine catches, Hopkins put on a receiving clinic against the Dallas secondary.

The signature play of the night by “Nuk” came in the form of a 49-yard reception in overtime that put the Texans in field-goal range and set up the eventual game-winning kick. Breaking a tackle and proceeding to juke two defenders with a pair of jaw-dropping spin moves, Hopkins fought for every yard on what was arguably the most electrifying play of Week 5. With 594 total yards on the year, Hopkins presently leads the league in receiving yardage.

Watson played a major role in facilitating Hopkins’ big night. Going 33-44 for 375 yards through the air, Watson remained composed throughout the contest, despite facing intense pressure from the Cowboys’ pass rush. Watson, who tallied 40 rushing yards on 10 carries, collected a passing touchdown on a one-yard shovel pass following a 34-yard reception by Hopkins that put the Texans in goal-to-go territory.

In addition to Hopkins, several other former Clemson wideouts performed at a high level in Week 5. Sammy Watkins continued to flourish in his debut season with the Kansas City Chiefs, as he hauled in six catches for 78 yards in a 30-14 Chiefs beatdown of the Jacksonville Jaguars. With the Los Angeles Chargers and the Oakland Raiders doing battle, deep threats Martavis Bryant and Mike Williams faced off on Sunday. Bryant led all receivers in the matchup with 91 receiving yards on three receptions for an average of 30.3 yards per catch for the Raiders. However, Williams and his Chargers came out on top in the AFC West duel, with Williams recording three catches for 45 yards and a three-yard carry in the 26-10 win.

On the defensive side of the ball, New York Giants inside linebacker B.J. Goodson and Texans defensive tackle D.J. Reader came up with four tackles each. Furthermore, Oakland Raiders strong safety Marcus Gilchrist compiled five tackles and one pass defensed as part of a well-rounded showing. Also, in transactional news, T.J. Green, a former standout free safety for Clemson, agreed to a contract with the Seattle Seahawks to resume his NFL playing career.

Perhaps the most impressive display of clutch defense by an erstwhile Tiger in Week 5 came from Hopkins, who did a little bit of everything over the weekend. The tall receiver with quite the impressive vertical leap was placed in the game at the end of regulation to prevent the Cowboys from pulling off a successful Hail Mary. The presence of Hopkins on the play paid off for Houston, as Nuk batted down the deep pass and staved off a Dallas miracle. Following the overtime thriller, Hopkins and Watson each received a game ball from the NBC Sunday Night Football crew as a reward for their winning efforts.

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